South Ozone Park’s Alyssa Mohammed has helped to launch a new service-learning partnership aimed at getting local elementary school children excited about growing their own food.
With grant funding acquired through SUNY Oneonta’s Center of Social Responsibility and Community, assistant professor of biology Sean Robinson built and installed vegetable grow boxes in all 12 kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms at Riverside Elementary School last fall. Mohammed, who is majoring in biology, was assigned to one of the classrooms as part of a group of three to four “box buddies.”
Throughout the fall semester, students visited their assigned classrooms several times to help the children plant vegetables and herbs and to present lessons about food, society, the environment and plant biology.
“This project has really helped my students learn the information better,” Robinson said. “It’s also helped with other skills, such as public speaking.”